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News 16/2020

2020 Amendment to the Labour Code

Dear readers,

We would like to inform you about the latest labour law developments.

The long-awaited major Amendment to the Labour Code shall come into force in the next few days.

The amendment shall introduce significant and essential changes to the legislation (in particular, in the area of annual leave) as well as interesting new provisions (new legal institutes and possibilities), at the same time defining some existing legal institutes more precisely. It should also, as already envisaged, contribute to reducing the administrative burden in the field of labour law and employers’ obligations.

The most changes shall come into effect on 30 July 2020; however, some important changes shall become effective on 1 January 2021 (in particular, the provisions on leave, shared workplaces, compensation for personal injury). Please find below an overview of the most important changes introduced by the amendment:

  • a major amendment is the change to the leave concept concerning, in particular, the conditions for the existence of leave entitlement and for taking leave; the calculation of leave shall change, leave based on days worked shall be abandoned and replaced by leave based on the weekly working hours worked (working hours determined under Section 79 of the Labour Code or part-time work agreed under Section 80 of the Labour Code), from which the period of leave is derived. To determine leave entitlements more fairly, in particular as regards employees with variable working hours, the decisive time unit in calculating leave shall no longer be a day worked but an hour worked. The previous system of determining leave in weeks remains in place. The leave shall continue to be taken in shifts; exceptionally, the employer may determine, with the employer’s consent, a shorter leave (but not less than a half of a shift).
  • Also, reduction of leave due to unexcused absence of an employee from the workplace shall be changed. According to the amendment, employers are entitled to reduce an employee’s leave only for a shift missed without leave, by the number of hours missed without leave; shorter parts of shifts missed without leave can be added together.
  • Another envisaged positive partial amendment to the statutory regulation of leave is the possibility of carrying over leave, at the employee’s request, to the next calendar year, which is allowed regarding the part of leave exceeding the statutory leave entitlement;
  • A welcome change is the possibility of transferring leave to another employer even if the previous employment relationship is not immediately followed by the new one
  • If a leave falls on a public holiday on which the employee would be otherwise obliged to work a shift (according to Section 91 (4) of the Labour Code) and the leave was determined at the employee’s request, this day shall be included in the leave;
  • In order to remove possible duplicate obligation to pay remuneration for leave (under the Czech Labour Code and the laws of the EU member states) in cases of posting of employees to another EU member state within transnational provision of services, it is specified that an employee is not entitled to payment for leave under the Labour Code to the extent to which they are entitled to payment under the law of the member state in which the employee is posted;
  • A significant amendment is the introduction of a new institute of shared workplace aimed at facilitating work-life balance; henceforth, several part-timers may share one job (type of work), being free, subject to previous agreement with the employer, to schedule their working hours in mutual cooperation according to their personal needs;
  • Significant and necessary changes have taken place in the area of service of documents, as regards service by employers to employees, and vice versa;
  • A new rule (procedure) shall apply to personal service to employees: the employer shall deliver documents to employees preferably to hands at the workplace; failing that, the document can be served on the employee personally in one of the methods of service laid down in the Labour Code;
  • If served through a postal service provider, the time for collection of an item shall be extended from 10 working days to 15 calendar days (which is to unify the conditions with those set by the Czech Post).
    Henceforth, postal service providers (letter carriers) shall no longer be required to draw up a written record of advice proving that the employee has been informed of the consequences of their action if the employees themselves make the service of documents impossible by refusing to take them over or by failing to render necessary cooperation in serving the document; however, the  duty to inform of the consequences shall continue to exist;
  • A new fiction of service of documents by employees to the employer has been introduced in case the employer refuses to take over a document served by an employee, or fails to duly cooperate with the employee or to otherwise make the service of a document at its registered office or place of business impossible; such a document is deemed to be served on the day on which this event occurred;
  • Employers are allowed to use a new method of service of documents to employees, namely through their data boxes, on the basis of the employee’s written consent to this method of service.
    At the same time, there is a fiction of service through the data box, within 10 days of the date of delivery of the document to the employee’s data box; thus, if an employee fails to login to the data box within 10 days of the date of delivery of the document to this data box, the document shall be deemed to be served on the last day of this period;
  • Also, employees shall be given the possibility of delivering documents to the employer’s data box if the employer so agrees. In such a case, a document is deemed to be served on the day of delivery of the document to the employer’s data box;
  • A co-responsibility of employees for service has been introduced: henceforth, the employer shall serve a document on the employee through a postal service provider to the address given by the employee to the employer in writing (the employee is responsible that the information is correct and up-to-date);
  • Transfer of rights and obligations arising from employment relationships has been defined in a more specific way, laying down the conditions to be met cumulatively in order to enable the transfer of rights and obligations arising from employment relationships if the employer’s activity or a part thereof is transferred;
  • The rules governing termination of employment due to transfer of rights and obligations arising from employment relationships have changed;
  • The term “multiple-shift working pattern” has been introduced in order to grant the right to preferential amount of the set weekly working time to employees working in multiple shifts;
  • It is expressly stipulated that a part-time work is deemed to be the set weekly working time;
  • The group of cases in which flexible working patterns shall not apply has been extended;
  • There is an amendment regarding removability of managers from their jobs;
  • In the case of temporary agency work, the hirer is obliged to notify the employment agency of any cases of “double posting”, i.e. if the hirer posts an employee – temporary agency worker – to perform work in the framework of transnational provision of services in the territory of another EU member state; the minimum amount of required information has been specified;
  • A new provision specifies that for the purposes of the Labour Code, also a state that is a party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area shall be considered to be a member state of the European Union.
  • The amendment extends the scope of the (basic) Czech legislation (transposition of the EU Directive) applying to posting of employees from other EU member states for performing work in the territory of the Czech Republic in the framework of transnational provision of services (as regards all mandatory components of wages, conditions of accommodation, where provided, as well as travel expenses);
  • In order to protect workers on long-term postings, the scope of mandatorily applicable provisions of the Labour Code regarding posting of employees from other EU member states in the framework of transnational provision of services for performance of work in the territory of the Czech Republic exceeding 12 months shall be extended to other provisions on performance of work within an employment relationship under the Labour Code, with the exception of provisions on the commencement, amendments and termination of employment (transposition of the EU Directive). The period of 12 months stated above may be extended up to 18 months based on a qualified notice under the Employment Act. At the same time, rules applicable to aggregation of periods in replacing a posted employee have been laid down;
  • In the field of prevention, the employees’ obligation to intervene to avert an imminent loss for the employer, the group of persons whose exposure to a serious threat by an employee’s intervention precludes the employee’s obligation to intervene, has been extended to any other natural persons;
  • A new institute of one-time compensation for non-material damage in the case of a particularly grievous bodily harm to an employee has been introduced;
  • In the field of accidents at work and compensation for loss and non-material damage of survivors of an employee who died as a result of an accident at work or an occupational disease, the amounts of certain types of the existing compensations the survivors are entitled to shall be increased, in particular on the basis of the national average salary;
  • The amendment changes the conditions for one-time compensations of non-material damage of survivors, abandoning the condition requiring that the deceased person’s children must have reached the age of majority and the condition requiring that parents must have shared a household with the deceased person, and extending the group of persons entitled to one-time compensation for non-material damage to survivors under the conditions laid down in the Labour Code;
  • As regards obstacles to work on the employee side for reasons of the general interest, the amendment provides for a new leave of absence in the cases of similar activities (as work in children and youth camps) in sports training camps for children and youth, providing for the obligation of employers to pay to employees, due to this obstacle to work, remuneration amounting to the average earnings for up to 1 week in a calendar year; The employer shall be entitled to receive payment for this remuneration from the national budget if specified conditions are met;
  • The amendment introduces new special provisions on calculation of periods of time as certain periods set out in the Labour Code were too short and the application of rules for setting periods of time were inappropriate;
  • In order to reduce the administrative burden of employers, the amendment has cancelled the employers’ obligation to issue to employees employment certificates (earnings records) in the case of termination of agreements to complete a job that do not establish the person’s participation in sickness insurance, unless the remuneration paid under this agreement is subject to enforcement by withholding sums from the salary. Furthermore, the mandatory information to be stated in the employment certificate shall be extended by the identification of the authority that ordered the withholding. 

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